Police say Madeleine McCann’s body ‘may no longer exist’

Telegraph | Sep 14, 2007

By Caroline Gammell in Praia da Luz

Portuguese police have allegedly asked UK forensics experts to examine evidence to see if Madeleine McCann might have previously been drugged, as they turn their attentions on the apartment next door to the one from which she vanished, it has been claimed.

The latest speculation on the police investigation into the missing four-year-old emerged as detectives in the case admitted they may never find her body.

There is speculation her corpse may have been weighed down with rocks and dumped in the sea or even destroyed in an incinerator.

The new claims, in the Evening Standard, centre on the apartment neighbouring the McCanns’ and police are said to believe it may hold the key to the whereabouts of any body in the hours after she was reported missing.

They also follow reports in the newspaper France Soir that Madeleine allegedly died from an overdose of sleeping pills.

Further claims in the Evening Standard take the theory one step further suggesting that the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham has been asked to look for evidence that she had been given drugs on the night she went missing and on earlier occasions.

The McCanns have always emphatically denied that they ever sedated any of their children.

Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry have been formally named as suspects, but police have admitted that they do not have enough evidence to charge them.

Mrs McCann, 39, is expected to be recalled to Portugal in the next few days to face further questioning as police work on the theory that she may have accidentally killed her daughter while her husband helped cover up the crime.

The couple have vehemently denied these claims.

But the couple, who spent Friday in London consulting lawyers about their arguido status, have been told the case against them is weak if a body is not found.

A senior Portuguese police source said there was very little for detectives to pin on the McCanns.

“We have nothing concrete,” he told Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas. “There are a lot of indications but without more information it is impossible to determine what happened in those four vital hours in the case between 6pm and 10pm.

“Even if the blood and traces gathered in the car or in the apartment were confirmed to correspond to 100 per cent of the little girl’s DNA, that wouldn’t prove anything.”

Madeleine disappeared from the family’s holiday apartment 5A in the Mark Warner Ocean Club resort on May 3.

For several weeks forensic scientists in Birmingham have been examining bodily fluids and hair found in the back of the couple’s Renault Scenic hired 25 days after their daughter went missing.

As the investigation continued, Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias said police had admitted Madeleine’s body “may no longer exist”.

A source told the paper: “One theory is that the body may have been thrown in a bag filled with stones into the high sea from a yacht in Lagos marina.”

Mr Murat, a 33-year-old property developer, is the only other named suspect, or arguido in the case.

Family friends of the McCanns have demanded to know why he is not facing the same amount of scrutiny as Madeleine’s parents.

They insist he was involved in the preliminary search for the little girl while he maintains he was at home with his mother in their villa 150 yards from the McCanns’ apartment.

The Portuguese authorities are still trying to track down Mrs McCann’s personal diary to gain an insight into her psychological state before and after Madeleine disappeared. It is understood they have photocopies of extracts and are now trying to get the papers formally accepted as evidence.

The investigating judge Pedro Miguel dos Anjos Frias, has until next Thursday to authorise any further police activity in the case against the McCanns after being handed a 4,000 page file by the public prosecutor last Tuesday.

Police are on standby to carry out searches along the coast to the west of Praia da Luz and attention has also focused on the area surrounding the town’s church.

In the UK, Mr McCann’s sister Philomena said the couple and extended family would be prepared to sell their homes to help foot the legal bill to clear their names.

Mr and Mrs McCann have appointed lawyers in Portugal and the UK after being named official suspects in their daughter’s disappearance.

The couple’s £640,000 home in Rothley, Leicestershire, has been besieged by the world’s media since the McCanns flew home last Sunday.

Their battle to shift suspicion has been hampered by the fact that they are not allowed to hire their own private investigator.

Under Portuguese law, no independent inquiry can be carried out while a criminal investigation is underway.

It is only when a person has been charged with a crime that they are entitled to appoint their own experts – such as forensic specialists – which have to be approved by the court.

9 responses to “Police say Madeleine McCann’s body ‘may no longer exist’

  1. The one question no one seems to be asking is, if the car does contain the girl’s DNA, and the family were constantly being followed by the media, how did the DNA get in the car? Isn’t it possible, in a cruel irony, that the previous people to hire the car could have been the people who used it to move the body? Afterall the car wan’t rented by the McCanns for 25 days. Who had it before then???


    Last update: 14h47, September 13 – 2007


    DUARTE LEVY, in Rothley
    PAULO REIS, in Lisbon


    •“Find Madeleine” Fund gaves up search for Madeleine’s abductors (9h11 am, September 13, 2007)

    •Leicester head of CID spent an hour with the McCann family (September 13, 2007)

    •Police Warrant At McCann Family Home (September 13, 2007)

    •Leicester Police: Madeleine McCann enquiry is a Portugese police investigation (September 12, 2007)

    •My life insurance (7h24 am, September 13, 2007)

    •Portuguese Prime-Minister: “It’s a duty of all politicians not to contribute to ‘feed’ a ‘soap opera script” (03h31 am, September 13, 2007)

    •Madeleine’s case: Portuguese Prime-Minister launches a violent attack against British Government (2:59:00, September 13, 2007)

    •PJ asked British authorities to seize the original of Kate McCann’s diary (20h12, September 12, 2007)

    •Portuguese Police investigations in Spain (19h39, September 12, 2007)

    •Kate McCann diary can be used as evidence in court (23H39, September 12, 2007)

    •Madeleine’ case: Public Prosecutor says “international cooperation” will be needed

    •Mari Olli is married with Ray Pollard, born and raised at Groby, Leicester



    Paulo Reis
    Email: pjcv.reis@gmail.com
    (00351) 913 400 250 (sms messages only)
    News in English, Portuguese and Chinese

  3. The odds of the McCanns coincidentally (in ignorance) renting the very car used by another killer to transport the body of Maddy are astronomic compared to the simplest idea that they rented the car to move the body 25 days after Maddy died. Use Ockham’s Razor to zero in on the most likely scenario.

    The McCann’s would have nothing to lose by risking ALL, and they have everything to gain by covering this up and continue to have nothing to lose by carrying their denials all the way to the bitter end. But many Find Maddy cult members will blindly follow the McCanns claiming that the real conspiracy is that the police are framing them. Again, which is more likely? A) that two parents accidentally killed their child and tried to cover it up, or B) that an entire police department diabolically constructed an elaborate hoax to frame these people? From a very objective, unbiased, logical point of view, the most likely scenario is A).

    Use Ockham’s Razor, it is usually the best guide.

  4. Surely the McCanns being in the medical field would know all there is to know re covering up forensic evidence in a car and in the apartment.
    What about the other mssing child and the mother also made to confess.

  5. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an “entire police department” involved in order to frame someone. It only requires a “few” individuals with money and power who may have a hatred, or some vendetta towards the couple, for it to work.

    Sometimes, the only objective is to bring someone to financial ruin. And since proper legal defense, unfortunately, requires immense amounts of money, I believe that this should be taken into account. Before this is over, they may lose everything they have worked for in order to pay for their legal defense.

    In matters like this, with such profound consequences for all involved, I don’t think Ockham’s Razor is such a good guide. (Unless, of course, it gets too extreme and their defense tries to say that a poltergeist is responsible for their child’s death).

    The biggest problem I have with most media and some investigations is that not all motives are taken into account unless you have enough money to defend yourself. Everyone, including the investigators themselves need to be followed, background checks, etc., if we really want the truth. But, with short attention spans and attitudes of “better them than me”, etc. I only expect to see the simplest answer, without profiles of all involved, by the time this ends or the couple goes broke. That is the usual outcome of Ockham’s Razor in situations like these.

  6. LorisKnight0:

    My first question is, why do you so fervently support parents who left their little ones alone in an apartment for hours at a time on more than one occasion? I mean, what have they done for you lately?

    True, nobody knows for sure that the McCanns are guilty of anything and their innocence is presumed unless found guilty by a jury or if they make confessions, however, though police must respect their presumption of innocence, the job of detectives is to follow up on leads no matter how bad they make the McCanns look. If detectives were not allowed to make suspects look bad, then police work would be totally untenable. You seem to be saying that following up leads and evidence on the McCanns is tantamount to a conspiracy to frame them. So is every suspect in every case being framed just because they look innocent to you? You make no logical sense at all.

    Why would the police frame them? Because they hate the McCanns? A “vendetta” to bring them to “financial ruin”? Why? Why? Why, oh why would they bother to set up such an elaborate hoax? Where is your evidence for any of this conspiracy theory? Show us one tiny tantalizing shred of evidence. There is none! Therefore your desire to blame the cops is based on nothing but emotionalism and wild speculation. And now you want to launch an investigation of the cops themselves! Follow them around and check into their backgrounds? Based on what?! Aiyaiyai!

    The fact is the police would have a plenty to lose and little or nothing to gain by doing something so stupid, while the McCanns would have absolutely nothing to lose by staging a hoax if they did indeed kill Maddy. Keep in mind that they would have lost everything even if they reported the death honestly from day one. If they had called police and explained that their daughter had died accidentally of, for example an overdose, they would likely lose their other two children to social services, their medical careers trashed and probably face several years in jail for involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide. These are smart people who could see the writing on the wall right away. They would know that their lives would be completely ruined if they were to report the truth, so the alternative of staging an abduction hoax would look like best thing to do and they would fully commit to it for life if need be.

    Kids go missing all over the world and I have never heard of a single case where the parents were framed for the disappearance. It is totally unheard of. On the other hand, parents killing their own kids (whether by accident or not) is unfortunately a regular occurance we see every single week in the newspapers. It is a common phenomenon, all too common. Therefore, the most likely scenario is the latter.

    Why do you reach so far out for an event that has such an infinitesimally small likelihood? To presume that the police are the criminals here takes a much larger leap of faith than it does to believe that the McCanns may have harmed their child.

    That is all I am saying here: they MAY have harmed their child, albeit unintentionally, and that among all the possible scenarios that are conceivable, this is the most likely of them all statistically, logically, objectively and in every other conceivable way.

    Go ahead and deny it if you feel so compelled to do so.

  7. Has nobody asked how the McCanns moved all there belongings from the apartment to the villa.
    If they moved belongings of madelines there must have been traces of her dna on her toys clothes ect.
    As for pjwalker911 has the 911 got any weird meanings for you.

  8. Pingback: Property Portugal September 14, 2007 7:37 pm | Lets Buy In Portugal

  9. madline should be with her family whoever took her return her no parent deserves to be without there child

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